Chris Drieberg, Director Pre-Sales, Hitachi Vantara ANZ
Data becomes information when you get it out of its original application to identify, classify and index it. But, even then, you have disparate bits of information. Among other things, it needs two critical layers of context to really become useful in developing actionable insights. Firstly, it must be connected to data from other systems and sources, relevant to the question at hand. Secondly, you need to underpin it with industry knowledge, including an understanding of relevant connections and implications.
Hitachi Vantara has developed the Data Stairway to Value to illustrate how to help organisations harness their information and industry knowledge (yours and theirs) to deliver context and insights as they strive to find value in their ever-flowing flood of data. In fact, this framework is designed to help organisations acquire data value at every step to ensure the most overall return on data.
STORE | Storage, Data Management, Data Protection
Customers need to capture and store an increasing amount of data, at the lowest cost, at the right service levels, and at the right location across edge, private, hybrid and multi-Cloud environments. They need high performance storage that is protected and secured.
This step is not just about covering off those requirements as standalone deliverables. This is the foundational infrastructure that will set the organisation up to make the most of its data and support applications, current and future.
Ensuring infrastructure agility is a key element of data centre modernisation. An Agile data infrastructure that optimises the storage, management and protection of information assets while optimising service levels makes innovation possible.
This is where you make sure customers can deliver data to applications, ensure availability, and drive faster, more reliable operations. It’s setting them up to support increasingly intense workloads, to scale up capacity when required and to virtualise storage so data is consolidated into one framework. This is where you set up predictive maintenance. It’s the base for hybrid Cloud operations. Whether that’s how your customer is operating today or not, they need to have infrastructure in place that can support them when they reach that stage.
ENRICH | Data agility
During this stage data is decoupled from core applications, regardless of where it resides, and enriched with all its innate characteristics allowing it to be easily searched and providing context for intelligent data management and governance. Organisations must understand what data they have – and where it is – to implement access protocols and policies to minimise risk.
Help customers leverage metadata – the “data about the data” – to classify, catalogue and turn it into useful information. You can help them discover conceptual relationships between the data sets that were otherwise invisible and apply those insights to support the innovations that drive value for the business.
Maximising and optimising your customers’ infrastructure between Store and Enrich, also ensures the Edge-to-Cloud infrastructure necessary to accelerate Cloud adoption and effectively support IoT strategies.
ACTIVATE | Business agility
This step involves making connections between human, business and machine data sources and invites customers’ subject matter experts to provide context, select relevant data sets and identify challenges to tackle. This step helps customers discover, integrate and orchestrate data to drive business value.
By activating their data, the customer will ultimately realise the biggest value because it enables them to apply advanced analytics that generate actionable insights and solve for operational challenges.
Does your customer need to reduce downtime? Algorithms for predictive maintenance can be set up to alert the business to take action before equipment breaks, reducing shut-downs and lowering maintenance costs. Does your customer want to make better use of customer data? Algorithms can be developed to monitor for customer behaviour, sending alerts to the service team that – when correlated with preferences and past purchases – can prompt the kind of proactive and personalised service that impresses customers and keeps them coming back.
Between the Enrich and Activate steps, talk to customers about Intelligent Operations and DataOps. Data management for the IoT and AI era can help customers meet organisational objectives, drive richer IT and operational technology insights and automate the processes that enable the right data to get to the right place at the right time – all while ensuring it remains secure.
MONETISE | Visualisation and automation
This is your chance to talk to customers about data-driven solutions. Help them make better decisions – faster, increasing revenues, reducing costs and reducing risk. Help them leverage the power of data in innovative ways and derive direct value from the data.
“Value” could mean using data to create a completely new business opportunity. It could mean taking its latent value and creating a data product of interest and value to a new type of customer.
For example, an elevator manufacturer could analyse the ridership data it collects from shopping mall lifts and derive marketable insights. Shopping mall operators could use this information to understand the flow of shoppers and optimise factors such as retail rents for different spaces.
Another way for customers to monetise their data is by using it to solve a specific business or operational challenge to which they can assign quantifiable value.
For example, let’s say that if the customer can improve unplanned operation downtime by x% they will improve productivity and yield, giving them the potential for an added $x in revenue over the course of the year. The data that is used to generate that productivity improvement and that positive impact to the bottom line has a quantifiable value to the business. (Read A Roadmap for Building Lucrative Data-Driven Organisations in ANZ for more on this.)
The Data Stairway to Value prioritises the ability to maximise return on data at every step. Remember: you don’t have to take customers through all of the steps before you help them realise value, but remember each level enables the success of the level that follows. With this framework, Hitachi Vantara can support you as you help customers put their data to work.
Find out more about becoming a Hitachi Vantara Partner.